TC ERT Apr 2013 Vol 37 No 2


Now available
Paternoster Periodicals, c/- AlphaGraphics, 6 Angel Row, Nottingham NG1 6HL, UK

Theme: Spiritual Leadership


  • Editorial: Spiritual Leadership
  • Lord Radstock and the St. Petersburg Revival by Andrey P. Puzynin
  • David Livingstone's Vision Revisited – Christianity, Commerce and Civilisation in the 21st Century by Sas Conradie
  • The Missional-Ecclesial Leadership Vision of the Early Church by Perry W.H. Shaw
  • From 'Grammatical-historical Exegesis' to 'Theological Exegesis': Five Essential Practices by Hank Voss
  • The Bible and our Postmodern World by Billy Kristanto
  • Bias and Conversion: An Evaluation of Spiritual Transformation by Benson Ohihon Igboin

Editorial: Spiritual Leadership

Chris Willard and Jim Sheppard say in their new book Contagious Generosity(Zondervan: 2012) that generous living may be the most compelling and effective evangelism strategy. This understanding of Christian generosity is not new. The whole Bible is a depiction of the generous God who blesses people with resources so that they can bless others with those resources. The Bible is also clear about the right relationship with and use of money which is one of the most important aspects of generosity – the way we use our finances to bless and serve others.

We welcome Andrey Puzynin to this issue with his fascinating article on evangelicalism in 19th century Russia, where he focuses on the hermeneutics and the cultural context of Lord Radstock, an English missionary to that country. Hermeneutics is a topic of considerable importance to us, and this treatment is all the more interesting because of its geographical and historical setting.

Our second article is just as interesting but the location is now Africa and its focus is another missionary, the famous Scotttish doctor, David Livingstone who was born just one hundred years ago. The story of this iconic explorer is well known but here Sas Conradie looks at his vision for 'Christianity, Commerce and Civilisation' and the benefits he saw in these for Africa. Livingstone's highly influential (although often disparaged) approach to a 'Kingdom model' is re-examined in a global context as a model for today.

From these two case studies, we can easily see that vision and leadership are always key issues. So we turn to Lebanon and Perry Shaw's study which looks at the way the early church had a fluid approach to governance and structure in response to the challenges that confronted the fulfillment of its missional vision. Through all the changes and in the face of many challenges, Shaw concludes that 'the missional-ecclesial vision of the early church shaped its governance', a lesson which is needed today as never before.

Now we can appreciate Hank Voss's challenge that we should be careful to read the Bible not merely as a literary work deriving from another historical period (however sensitively treated) but theologically, that is, as a word from God himself. This is a practical approach, focusing on helping theological educators to equip potential church leaders to 'hear the divine voice in Scripture.'

A related theme is the subject of an article from Billy Kirstanto of Indonesia who, with the benefit of his studies in Germany, alerts us to some of the issues facing our understanding of the Bible in a postmodern world. In a technical discussion, he asserts that the Bible speaks relevantly in every age since it is the eternal Word of God, even if there are problems in contemporary culture of definition, context and relevancy.

Finally, we turn to Nigeria and hear a reminder from Benson Ohihon Igboin that the personal element is vital, even though society, organisation and tradition are also important factors. He shows that a born again person is a changed individual and that spiritual transformation is no mere psychological adjustment. Important for his own context as for the world is his observation that conversion or spiritual transformation will result in 'positive and enviable qualities in social, economic, political interaction.'

So our international team of authors reinforces the need for a comprehensive and detailed awareness of history and culture in leadership, but most of all point to the dynamic of the Word to produce lasting fruit.

Thomas Schirrmacher, General Editor
David Parker, Executive Editor